x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Guitar hero Slash is also a bit of a nerd

Speaking backstage before last week's show at Dubai Tennis Stadium, Slash discusses his new album and his love for Angry Birds.

Slash backstage at the Dubai Tennis Stadium. Razan Alzayani / The National
Slash backstage at the Dubai Tennis Stadium. Razan Alzayani / The National

On returning to Dubai

My first experience was surprisingly great. I didn't know the environment and how much of a rock audience there was this far away and it turned out to be awesome.

On the new album Apocalyptic Love

We had a really great time making the record and that is what you are hearing. The recording was really fun and smooth and it was very live. Even the guitars are live here because normally I go back and redo my guitar parts.

On finding the new vocalist Myles Kennedy

You never know when you are going to have serious chemistry. That's what happened when Myles [Kennedy] and I hooked up together, which happened by chance. I called him up, having never met him, to ask him to do a song on my previous solo record. I had never heard him sing before but I knew of him. We hit it off right away, same with the other guys in the band. It was almost a "meant to be" kind of thing.

On dealing with highly strung frontmen

I played with a lot of different people and I always go into a session open-minded enough so that I can be able to play with anybody. I don't have a personality that people have to deal with. I normally adapt to anything and make the best out of the situation. Musicians are volatile and they have some ego no matter what shape or form. So you have to just walk in and make people feel comfortable and you have to let loose. Sometimes you have to deal with people who just can't help being that way, so you have to adapt to that environment.

On being called The Coolest Man Alive

I don't even like being that self aware. I do a lot of nerdy stuff. I mean, most of my hardcore fans hate the fact that I love Angry Birds [originally released as an app for Apple] but I can't help it. I can't deny it. I do a lot of nerdy, goofy things that are not considered cool at all.

On his trademark top hat

I am not that outspoken. I am not that socially outgoing and I don't try to draw attention to myself. Even as a musician, when I go out and play to all these people, I isolate myself in my own space. I barely look at the audience. With the hat, I don't think it was purposely for that, but I think I ended up hiding behind that thing and my guitar.

On his 2007 self-titled autobiography

I didn't want to do it. For years, from the time I left Guns N' Roses, people have been talking to me about writing a book. It changed around 2006 when my manager told me to meet a few writers to get an idea of what it's like. I said OK and I met one that I liked [the co-writer Anthony Bozza] and I ended up writing the book because there is so much brouhaha around Guns N' Roses at that time that I needed to say something. But I didn't put anything in there that anyone didn't know, it's just that it is more spelt out now. The really personal details, I couldn't bear to part with that information.


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